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Emerging Technology and Advertising and communication
Technology has always played an important role in the advertising and communication aspects of business. It has provided businesses with a means to communicate with their customers and target market. From the history of business, advertising has been hand in hand with business. Various strategies have been used by business men to market their businesses, products and services. Advertisement began with the word of mouth as a media; they walked from door to door talking about their goods. Businessmen and women moved from town to town, across states and landscapes to sell their products. They relied heavily on their customers to market their products by talking about the products to family, friends and acquaintances. Though this strategy is in use today, especially with the sales representatives it is a tradition that is slowly dying out.
From the age of 'the word of mouth' we moved to the print media, then the most widely used form of advertising was the newspaper, the moment man learnt to print, he used this medium to promote his causes and products. Apart from news the newspaper has been a key advertising tool, which is still in use today. Other forms of print advertising media that have been in use are magazines, posters, signs and billboards. These used pictures to stimulate the visual sense, they were attractive to look at, and hence they appealed to a wide audience (Krewen, 2010).
For audio media the radio has been an effective advertising tool, the attraction in radio was the use of sound to promote products, the moment radio came into the market it was used for news, entertainment and advertising. The advertisements in radio used music to capture the audience; in the process they found it to be a good sensory stimulator. With the advent of radio, came the television which beat all forms o advertising, because it combined visual and audio. Television advertisements were and still are attractive; the competition between the companies was to realize the best advertisement that would awe the crowd.
For many decades the these media were used to advertise, the catch in the advertisement industry was the production of the best and most catching slogan and advertisement that would not be forgotten and would be the talk in the market. All businesses and industries realized the importance of advertisements and hence in the process advertising became a discipline on its own. The competition to produce the best advertisement was seen in both the marketing departments of organizations and the advertisement agencies. Advertisements, they realized required creativity and entrepreneurship, the coming up with original advertisements is seen as paramount in the advertisement and communication industry. Those who have made for themselves a good name in the advertisement industry, are seriously sort and consulted in the making of advertisements.
There exists advertising agencies that compete in the advertisement sector, the realization that proper communication with clients and potential clients is very important. These agencies have embarked on the advertisement industry, where the business of advertising has become very profitable. Hungry markets are demanding for creativity and ingenuity, but few agencies have enough talent and entrepreneurship to make it. Most advertising agencies have no aspiration, nor are they ready to change, what they are plagued with is executives who are conservative and are not ready to leave their comfort zone. Then there is a crop of advertising agencies that are very aggressive, they are progressive and try to continually find ways to meet their customers' needs (Frank, 2007).
The reason that technology has greatly affected advertising and communication is the fact that it is widely used today. Since advertising entails the communication of a message by a business to its clients and potential clients, the mode of communication in the market determines greatly the media used to advertise. Technology has overtaken the world by storm; the modes of communication have changed as a result. This means that any advertisement agencies has to comply with the market rules, they need to follow the changing trends. Those that are still stuck in time are finding it hard to cope.
From the conservative advertisement media; television, radio, print media, to the technological era characterized by; mobile phones, internet, digital television, DVR, smart phones, social networks. The reason for the use of these technologies is the fact that they are the leading sources of entertainment today. The leading market researches predict that a continued growth of the digital world. The fact that the consumer greatly influences brands in the digital market is an important factor, according to Forrester research, 31% of the market budget is spent on TV, while 34% is spent on the internet and another 12% on the digital media. Therefore the market trend is determined by the consumer who uses the social networks and interactive web increasingly. This is the trend the advertisement industry is supposed to follow (Mary, 2008).
The mobile age has changed the market tremendously, 80% of people are always on the phone, but the new technology of the smart phone is taking the market by storm (McLellan, 2009). It is predicted that the smart phone will out do the computers soon. The reason being; that they are compact, smaller, easy to carry and they provide the same services as the computer. The market penetration of the smart phone has a far reaching effect; they make it easy for people to communicate interactively in the process of their activities. The smart phone, like the blackberry has come into the market that is conscious of its needs and wants, a market that will go to all lengths to fulfill its desires. Any marketer and advertising agent who is aggressive enough will realize the potential of this market and take average of it.
The DVR is a novel devise that is a product of this technological era; the DVR is able to record live streaming. It is used because it allows viewers to watch their programs on their own schedule. They are able to program it to record and replay their programs and favorite advertisements. By 2009 it was found that 30% of the homes had DVRs in their homes, this means that this piece of technology cannot be ignored. The importance of the analysis of the DVR in advertisement is because as a lot of money is spent on TV advertisements it is important to find out the number of homes with DVRs, how many advertisements are skipped in the time-shift mode (McLallen, 2009). This will require the adjustment of the adverting strategy in television, it is important for the advertiser to consider the program selection, creative strategy, the frequency of the advertisement, advertising formats, the positioning of the advertisement and the target audience.
The print media has also been affected by technology, today we see more and more online advertisements and out door digital displays. The print market has had to adjust to the digital age, with the old media houses having to incorporate the internet, and online advertisements. The creation of print material exclusively for the internet and digital media is the new trend for the print media. Newspaper agencies and other forms of print media have had to have a web page to represent their interests. There are electronic publishers purposely for the internet and smart phones; their purpose is the production of printed content for these media. The availability of the material to consumers has proved very profitable, with consumers paying for the information, the numbers of subscription to these sites increase daily.
The digital world will prove a challenge to the advertising agents, since they were used to monopolizing the market, they will have to learn to let go. The increasing use of interactive communication, like blogs and social networks influences the brand from one consumer to another. This kind of lateral interaction means that advertisers no longer control the messages, with the increase of interactive communication the advertising agencies have to reconsider the pricing of their services. With a market that is controlled by increased demand by the client for social solutions and digital strategies the agencies need to look out for a change in the business model.
The advertising agencies also need to consider the target market. Today there is a great division in the market, with the young generation reading the newspapers less, and the use of the internet for interaction and entertainment. The advertising agents need to move with the times, the aging consumers are left reading newspapers and listening to radios. On the one hand with the advent of digital television, and DVRs there is a need for the advertisers to use target advertising. This is designed advertisements for a specific media and market; by turning the television into a precision marketing tool they will be able to effectively reach their target market. The prediction is that the television will be turned into a precise tool for marketing rather than the mass marketer it was (Kohl, 2010).
The market is flooded with advertisements from the highways, to the building sides, building lobbies, the internet, and even phones. These advertisements that have flooded the market are due to technological advances in media. There are more and more inventions in the media industry; these have provided marketers with the opportunity to flood the market with advertisements. Outdoor advertisements no longer involve posters and billboards, they also comprise of digital displays that provide lie streaming for advertisements on a timely basis (Krewen, 2010). There are live streaming of advertisements on high ways, and office blocks. These advertisements are also found on the internet where we even have live advertisements that change every minute or so.
The emerging trends in the online social network are one of the technologies that have greatly affected advertising. The use of the internet has grown exponentially over the years with an explosion of it in the last three years. The realization by organizations and businesses that the internet is there to stay, and the fact that it is widely used as a means of communication, has lead them to create web pages for their companies. At the same time the wide use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Myspace and Flickr have encouraged advertisers to explore them as an alternate advertising strategy. The reason these are used is because they offer a platform to reach to a wider audience that uses them for entertainment. The interactive media have seen a new kind of marketing strategy, where the consumer markets the product. This is by the sharing facilities offered on these pages (Seth, 2006).
Some of the most creative advertisements have been observed on these interactive online networks, the sharing of files like those of youtube have created a marketing tool for the promoter. All the advertising agencies need is to come up with a very interesting, captivating, unique and funny advertisement, once they place it on the web, the social network will distribute it for them. An example of a creative promotion that worked was the viral campaign sponsored by Volkswagen, Sweden. The video that was created led viewers to the website www.thefuntheory.com. Where the viewers learnt of a contest that wanted people to submit ideas on ways in which they could cause social change by making it fun. The contest ran from 1st October to 15th December 2009, and the prize money was 2500Euro. The advertisement worked because they made use of the social media and viral marketing. The idea spread by word of mouth and the mouse and the fact that it targeted the social network and digital media. Their advertisement had a record of 2.5 million views (Mary, 2008).
The new age in technology and the changing market trends are major contributors to advertising. The advertising agencies need to have a few factors to consider in order for them to succeed in the ever evolving markets. They need to live in continuous revolution; this is because their market is continually changing. They should be flexible enough to discard any winning advertising strategy they had to fit into the current times.
Advertising agencies need talent in order to survive, while a work place power is good, they need to be creative and take full advantage of what is available in the market, and use them to the client's advantage while crating a niche. These agencies also need to have a unique look that is different from everyone else. They need to establish themselves as providers of a diverse and progressive marketing strategies that when combined make a cocktail that awes the clients (Frank, 2007).
Advertising agencies need to engage in new technology, they should be able to change with the times and adopt new digital ideas that their target market seems to embrace. They need to learn and act to the ever changing mobile and internet technologies and effectively adopt them to their organization objectives. Finally they need to be able to create a 'big idea' that becomes their selling pitch.
The future of advertising and communication depends on technology, as technology changes so do the target market, advertisers should be able to migrate with their clients and be able to create advertisements that are flexible enough to fit in the new market trends. The fact that the market has split greatly with the concept of family time reduced to individual entertainment time is a concept that advertisers need to consider.
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